This was my birthday tea on Friday. It was the tea I woke up with, and it seemed to be the theme of the day. My husband called tieguanyin my “birth tea” (like a birth stone, only tea!), and I find it’s more and more appropriate as time goes by. He’s certainly right, if only for the fact that the time of year lines up perfectly: the past couple of days, the big lilac bush has bloomed and it literally hits on in the head with that delicious smell every time we walk in the kitchen door, leaving us craving Guanyin’s nectar..
I woke up with this tea. My husband woke up before me (to decorate the living room with streamers! and also herding our cats so they didn’t /eat/ the streamers) and he brought up our raku tea bowls filled with this beautiful spring tieguanyin. Drinking it was like coming alive. At first, I could only smell. Opening sips were warmth soothing my throat and, gradually (as my sense continued to adjust to the waking world), that gorgeous creamy texture. Aahhh.. spring. Finally, around sips ten or so, my tongue came fully online and started sending me information about all of the lovely tastes. Definitely a great way to wake up to your birthday day off in the spring time: coming alive again with this tea, sense by sense.
Breakfast continued on the theme with perfectly ripe cantelope melon, apples dipped in local MN honey..so floral and wonderful.. and a selection of light cheeses from the Seward Coop. Yummm. We didn’t eat these with the tea, but the textures and particularly the melon/honey/apple flavors synergized extremely well with what the tea has already laid out. Home-made (did I luck out or what??) lunch included an incredible piece of salmon, marinated in soysauce-wasabi, cooked up just so with cilantro and ginger.. the texture- it just fell apart in your mouth! So sweet and mouthwatering, with a real feeling of nectar.. you wouldn’t think it would be so, but it still fell very in line with my tieguanyin day.
We continued drinking tieguanyin throughout the afternoon, and we could do so freely, because my birthday present included 8oz of this spring picking!! It makes me feel free to indulge and have the good stuff more often. Instead of saving it for a special night, we will have it and make the night special as a result. Open the windows, let the lilac pour in, drink it up from the thimble cups.
This tea makes me think of many things. With the fan running on low, it makes me want to play hooky all day and lay out in the freshly cut sweet grasses. It makes me feel like I’m in a spa, and I want to light candles and run a lilac bubble bath with intense moisturizers. It is so fine fine fine.. a classy lady that’s just gorgeous /and/ sweet. Dessert. The creamy flavors, the smooth and lovely textures that feel like you’re being wrapped up and taken care of… It could only taste better if I were drinking it in Hawaii.. on the rainy side of Kawaii, looking out over ocean cliffs, plumeria in the air.
It’s decadant nd fine, but it’s not blowing loud and brassy horns in your ear. Instead, the flavors are all soft (yet strong and impossible to ignore), full and bouyant: melons, creamy whipped florals, exotic melon-berry nectars (juice is too thin and tangy a word). It’s downright sensual. Be careful- you might have to resist the urge to kiss whoever’s drinking with you.
Spring spring spring. How lovely. How do these TGY’s keep being so good? It’s ridiculous. As chadao wrote a little while ago, these tieguanyin’s feels scandalous- like you’ve been slipped a sample of something that should have cost a fortune and is instead just under the price of Rishi’s Citron Oolong (in a tea shop… $10). I think I’ll always prefer autumn TGY’s secretly, just because they feel a little more complex, but not in this particular situation. It has all the oomph and depth I would want from Autumn, but wrapped in the lovely honey-soft touch of spring. Ridiculous. I am so lucky to be able to drink this whenever I want, plus I still have several ounces of Autumn left.